After two successful seasons of their eponymous television show on HBO, Flight of the Conchords took a slight break from the world of alternative comedy after its show ended in 2009. After seeing the large crowd last night at the Palace Theatre, clearly I am not the only one delighted by their return.
Eugene Mirman, who appeared in the “Flight of the Conchords” television series and is maybe best known for providing the voice of Gene on the animated series “Bob’s Burgers,” opened the show with a half-hour of stand-up comedy.
Starting off slow with a few jokes, Mirman’s set quickly picked up steam with a bit about emailing an online pastor inane questions late at night. From there, Mirman treated the crowd to self-made silly laminated signs he places in public bathrooms and a clip from a failed TV pilot he produced for Comedy Central, all of which had me covering my mouth so I would not laugh annoyingly loud into the ear of the large man in front of me.
By the time Mirman introduced Flight of the Conchords, the audience was primed for the band’s brand of silliness.
Being a band with only two members, Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie immediately created an intimate atmosphere. Seeming in no particular hurry to play actual music, they proceeded to engage the audience with comedic dead-pan banter before launching into a brand-new song which described all of the ways they “party,” which included asking friends to use coasters, rinse out their glasses instead of grabbing new ones and overall being a courteous guest.
Flight of the Conchords continued to play mostly new songs throughout the rest of their hour-and-a-half set, which was a pleasant surprise. Unlike being at your favorite band’s concert, where all you want to hear are the hits that you can sing along to, comedic music lends itself to new material in a live setting.
The band made sure to include classics like, “Foux Du Fafa,” “The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room)” and “Mutha’uckas.” But, it wasn’t until they launched into their now-sentimental hit “Bowie” that I realized what true entertainers these guys really are. Clement’s David Bowie impression was superb, and McKenzie’s voice was excellent. The added smoke effects, only used during this song, were a nice addition for such a haunting rendition.
With Clement and McKenzie being so quick-witted, it was easy to forget that I was actually at the Palace Theatre and not a friend’s living room watching two acquaintances entertain the crowd. There was a total ease throughout the entire set thanks to their comfort on stage. It was clear that they were there to have fun as well, so it was impossible not to join them for the ride.
There were a couple of false starts to songs because of lyrics being forgotten, but they were quickly straightened out and then played to perfection. But even those instances only made Flight more endearing and entertaining.
Since the band kindly asked the audience not to videotape the show for fear of unsteady new material being leaked via YouTube, I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say that fans should eagerly be awaiting the release of their upcoming anagram song, “The Summer of 1353”.
Closing out the show with an encore including fan-favorite “Business Time,” Flight proved in 90 minutes’ time that a perfect band is one that can find the humor in life and music.